The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on Sunday said that the corporation was no longer ready to accommodate excuses for negotiations with debtors over unpaid debts, saying it will soon embark on takeover of their assets.
The corporation’s Managing Director, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, who disclosed in a media chat in Abuja lamented that the N5.4 trillion debt had lingered for too long and therefore was no longer desirable for the corporation to be carried on as liability..
Kuru said that AMCON was already tired of obligors (debtors) that had failed to honour their pledges on staggered debt repayment but ended up never fulfilling such pledges.
He pointed out that substantial part of the N5.4 trillion debt portfolio had been with the banks for five years before AMCON bought them over, adding that after 7 years of the corporation’s management of the debt, the obligors were yet to pay.
The AMCON boss said: “Resolutions through staggered plans have never worked. Let us not forget that before those loans were transferred to AMCON they have been with the banks for over five years. Now, AMCON is almost seven years, so the facility has been running bad for 12 years. It is not easy to recover those kinds of facilities.
“So now we have changed our strategy from sitting down and drinking tea and the obligors telling us lies and we pretend that we don’t know you are telling us lies.
“There is no more time for lies because we have a sunset period. So now our focus is on recovery. We do not want to hear anything, you cannot come and tell me you are going to pay me in the next six years, I do not have that time.
“If you cannot pay me the money now then give me my assets because the assets belong to AMCON so that we can sell it”, Kuru added
He explained further that in the case where the registered assets of a company in debt was not enough to clear their obligation, then AMCON would also go after the directors and their private companies.
According to him, part of the new strategy of the company is to hold Directors of indebted companies in default and make them take part in repaying the loans.
Kuru said: “We are training our people more to see that they become more efficient. Most fundamentally we have changed our strategy. Before our strategy had been only resolution: you come, you give us a payment plan and we respect it.
“But we have realized that more than 80 per cent of AMCON’s recoveries are as a result of either forfeiture or taking over of businesses or outright cash payment.
“My law allows me to not only go after the assets that are served as collateral but I can also go after the directors of companies. I can go after the assets that have not been served as collateral. This is where we are now heading to because the law had anticipated this situation that we are now in,” he said.
Expatiating further on how the company intended to deal with the problem of lingering debt, Kuru said that there was need for some sections of the law to be amended, adding that the company was working with the National Assembly to amend relevant laws.